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MANUFACTURING AWARD; The North East has a proud history of manufacturing, but these days the successful companies in this field have to be innovative and ambitious if they are to succeed against global competition. This award recognises those that are showing they have what it takes.

TYNESIDE & NORTHUMBERLAND Responsive Engineering, Gateshead THIS manufacturer of parts for the subsea oil and gas, power generation, aerospace and defence markets and employs 160 people.

Order books at this ten-year-old firm are at record levels and it expects to hit sales of pounds 12.5m this financial year. It has just opened a large facility for its welding and fabrication division as business grows.

RUNNERS-UP Kilfrost, Newcastle THIS 78-year-old family firm has grown from being simply a aeroplane deicing business to one of the leading companies making deicers for transport infrastructure worldwide and expects sales to top pounds 55m this year.

The Specials Laboratory, Prudhoe THIS manufacturer of unlicensed medicines has grown fast to widen its market to reach vets and provide a service for hospitals as well selling to doctors and pharmacies.

DURHAM & WEARSIDE IPB UK, Washington THIS small manufacturing business was established in 2005 by five former colleagues who were made redundant when their employer relocated to Scotland.

From a standing start, the company has grown its turnover to pounds 2.5m and now employs 31 staff including five apprentices. Despite the tough market conditions of the last two years, the company - which specialises in the forming of large scale steel pipe bends through the use of induction heating technology - has grown dramatically.

RUNNERS-UP Meditek, Fishburn THIS stairlift manufacturer has seen turnover grow by around 10% year on year since it was formed in 1995 and has remained profitable throughout.

Seaward Electronics, Peterlee THE company produces portable appliance testers and electrical safety test equipment to enable companies to comply with all types of electrical safety legislation and employs over 120 staff.

TEESIDE Nifco UK, Stockton THIS manufacturer of products including fasteners and interior trims for vehicles has fought back after the slump in the vehicle sector dragged sales down by half in 2009.

It has invested in marketing and smart new manufacturing techniques and even plans to open a new pounds 7m factory as it becomes one of its parent company's best-performing businesses.

RUNNERS-UP Elring Klinger, Redcar THE manufacturer of gaskets and heatshields for the motor industry has bounced back after a tough 2009 to see sales up 40% and profits up 500%.

Hart Biologicals, Hartlepool THIS company makes reagents used in the processing of blood products by the medical industry sells both directly to hospitals and GPs in the UK but also increasingly exports many of its products.


PRIZE Winner of the Manufacturing Award, Steven Simpson, Finance Director from Responsive Engineering DRIVING FORCE Manufacturing award, Kevin Fitzpatrick, Nissan, left, with Jimmy Cairns, director of IPB WIN Paul Everard presents Manufacturing award to Mike Matthews from Nifco
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 6, 2011
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